I work at nights. Should my health be checked?

Yes. The health surveillance of nightshift workers should take account of the known health risks. People with pre-existing history of heart disease, digestive problems, sleep disorders, mental anxiety and depression may need closer monitoring. There may be others who find that pre-existing health problems make night work unsuitable.

For example, people who are on chronic medication where dose-scheduling is critical (e.g. insulin dependent diabetics) or people with epilepsy who find their tendency to seizures is increased by sleep disturbance may not be able to cope with night working.

Where there are physical or chemical hazards in the workplace, prolonged exposure to them may be more harmful because there is less time away from work for the body to recover. The workplace exposure limits for many chemicals and for noise are set on the assumption of an eight-hour day, 40-hour week being the norm.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.